My Graduation In Pictures & My Story: University of the Western Cape, 2019

“Blessed is she who believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her” Luke 1:45

I’m not sure why I never got around to writing this post. Maybe it was because I never really knew how to tell my story, maybe it was because it took longer than others to come to an end. One thing is for sure, I can honestly say that I was blessed beyond measure to be able to have the university experience and it exceeded all my expectations.

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In 2014, I matriculated from high school and I was ready to take on 2015, but there was a huge mountain standing in my way.  Besides the fact that I had been told by teachers at my school that there was no way I would make it to university, I had applied relatively late to and I had been rejected for two of my initial choices. Here’s the thing about mountains: with faith the size of a mustard seed, it can always be moved but it takes persistence and a whole lot of patience. I don’t know how, but at the beginning of 2015, I found out that UWC offered a 4 year Bachelor of Art course, and there was still a few spaces (due to students who had been accepted to other courses or who had changed their mind last minute). I decided to apply and I knew deep in my heart that it was what I wanted to do. I saw the word journalism under the banner and it was almost as if I wanted to be there so badly. UWC (and their terrible admin, if you know, you know) told me that I would be placed on a waiting list and they would contact me if I was successful.

January went by with little to no answers. I became confused, worried and I wasn’t sure what would happen. Then, I became a cashier at a grocery store to help pass the time and that’s where I met a student at UWC who told me that I needed to start calling and breaking doors down if I had to (don’t worry, I didn’t). During the middle of the month, I started calling UWC almost every single day for updates. At one point I was even convinced that they knew me by name and I had rung up an R850 phone bill, yikes. Then February went by and induction had already started. It was about a week into the first semester that I decided to call my university one last time and the lady on the phone uttered words I will never forget:

“I’m really sorry to tell you this, but if you haven’t heard anything by now, then that means your application was unsuccessful and you need to apply somewhere else.”

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I was devastated. I had spent 2 months crying and pleading and I was pretty sure that my knees were raw from all the praying I had been doing. I remember how angry I was that God could do this to me. I just couldn’t accept it. To this day, it never fails to amaze me how God can test my patience day after day. The same afternoon of that phonecall, while washing my hair, my music stopped. I thought my battery had died because I had a terrible phone at the time and when I checked, I saw that someone was trying to call me and it was UWC.

After 2 months of uncertainty, I had finally been accepted to study a 4 year BA course.

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I remember the first person I told (sorry, mom) was my grandma. I called her and I told her the news and the first thing she told me was “Deeanne, that was not a space someone else had not taken. It was a space that God was keeping for you all the time”. That has resonated with me all my life and whenever I am tested with a period of waiting, I just know God always has something good in store for me.

University was the best and worst 4 years of my life. I came out of a toxic long-term relationship, lost my best friend, made some new friends, made memories I’ll never forget and lost some of the people I met along the way too. But if I could do it all over again, I would, no questions asked.

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In the end, my grandma got to see her first grandchild walk the stage at graduation, my mom cried as she watched and my dad got to see it all the way from his office in Iraq. Side note: it feels so damn good to defeat all odds, which means teachers don’t always know best.

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I’m not sure if my blog has a younger audience but if you’re applying to universities, I wish you all the best. Keep asking questions, make memories, learn from your mistakes and never look back.

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Everything you need to know about ZAFUL South Africa and my brutally honest opinion

From ordering to shipping, customs and exchanges, I’ve got all the details…

 

 

I’ve been receiving a number of questions on social media about my experience with ZAFUL South Africa. To my surprise, I even had a recruitment agent ask me about my experience because she saw that I had done a video on it! I love helping out wherever I can so I’m going to try my best to leave all the questions you’re dying to know right here where you can read if you’re not really into YouTube videos. Feel free to watch the videos instead if you’d like to see what some of the items look like.

What is ZAFUL?

Zaful is an online fashion retailer with a wide variety of clothing items such as tops, bottoms, denims and swimwear at reasonable prices (I say reasonable because in my honest opinion, they are not cheap but compared to South African prices they’re a lot better).

Ordering process

The ordering process is relatively simple, but checkout can be a bit of a pain. Once you’ve added all your items to your cart, you simply add a discount code (if you sign up with your e-mail, you’ll get tons of them and they’ll definitely come in handy) and then proceed to check out. For some reason, ZAFUL doesn’t pick up South African currency on their site so it converts it to U.S Dollars, which is the same amount but just a different currency. Once you’ve reached the payment process, you can go ahead and pay with credit card, debit card or PayPal (I’m unsure of the paypal method but checkout is safe even though I paid with debit card).

Shipping to South Africa & Customs

Yikes. This was definitely not the quickest process, but really not too bad. I believe that I received my first order 3 weeks after I purchased it and it was delivered to my house because apparently there is a South African warehouse somewhere in SA. The first time I ordered, I had no problems and the courier dropped it off with no charge whatsoever, but the second time I ordered more items (it was a bigger parcel than my first), my package was flagged by customs. I’m not sure how it worked the first time but the second time really got me fired up because it was a hassle to get in touch with the post office, find out why my parcel was flagged and then on top of paying R1700 for my second ZAFUL order, I had to pay a R1300 customs charge on top of that. Guys, when I tell you that it was the final straw for me, I meant it. Customs did me so wrong, on my intern salary, mind you. Just beware of ordering more than 5 items because I’m really not sure how the size issue works.

Quality & Sizing

I’m going to be really honest and say that ZAFUL’s swimwear is to die for. I’ve only ever had one issue with a swimsuit and that was the stitching that was sticking out (it looked messy, like it was coming apart), but I fixed it and now you can hardly notice it. Their clothes are a different story. I would highly recommend not ordering ANYTHING in white, because from my own experience, it is see-through as hell. Some of the clothing items look so cute in photos and once it arrives, it isn’t the best quality. For some reason, ZAFUL charges so much more for their clothing pieces than their swimsuits, which I don’t understand. Their sizing? Absolutely WHACK. I’ve had to order almost all my items in large even though I’m a medium. Their clothing and two pieces run small but their monokinis run true to size. I hate to say it but I really wasn’t impressed with their small clothing pieces, especially because they look so cute on their site.

Returns

I decided to return 3 items that did not fit and this is where I realized how bad ZAFUL’s customer support service is. It takes them 24 hours to respond to each message, which is really ridiculous and can be really frustrating. When I asked about their returns process, I was told that the returned items need to be sent to HONG KONG. Wow, I was at a loss for words. Then they said they’ll refund me the full amount for the clothing, but only a partial amount for the shipping. It cost me about R350 to return the package via airmail to Hong Kong and this could only be done through the post office (they ask you not to use DHL or other courier services, please do not ask me why). They also ask for a website to trace the parcel, an image of the receipt and details of the items. I only received my money a month later and this was after I had to follow up with them a few times.

The verdict

Would I recommend ZAFUL? Yes, if you’re going to buy their swimwear, please go crazy, just read the reviews before you purchase an item so you know what the sizing is like. The reviews are found below each item to give the customer an idea of what others are thinking. As for their clothing, just be careful with sizing and don’t be too excited about the quality. I feel like the only thing I can really complain about are the clothing items I’ve received, their customer support and crazy returns process. Other than that, I’m really happy with some of the swimsuit items.

Have you ordered from ZAFUL before? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

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And so the adventure begins…

“May the flowers remind us why the rain was so necessary”

 

I’m not sure if I should be typing this with tears in my eyes or with content in my heart, but one thing I can say for sure is that I am at peace. As most of my followers will know, I was recently given a notice that the company I work for will no longer be hiring interns, which means that I do not have the opportunity to extend. I knew that my job wasn’t forever but I didn’t think it would be over this quickly.

I have completed 6 months of my journalism internship, which is crazy to me. It feels like just the other day I was buying a ton of stationery and getting rose gold quotes laminated so that I could have a cute little desk set up (my desk was really cute, by the way) and now it’s time for me to spread my wings and move on to another career. I’m not sure what exactly I’ll be doing, or where I’ll be going yet, but one thing I’ve come to learn is that my path has already been set out for me. God is laughing at my uncertainty right now and thinking “Is she going to trust me this time?” and as a matter of fact, I do. I saw a quote on Pinterest the other day that said “Be thankful for closed doors. They often guide us to the right one” and I don’t think I’ve ever resonated with something so deeply that it moved my soul.

I’ve always been a free-spirit. If you asked me to go on an adventure with you, I’d do it without thinking twice. I love a challenge and I’m very steadfast in my faith, so I’m basically unshakable. My internship has been the best and worst 6 months of my life. I’ve met new people (some really nice, others questionable because I wasn’t sure if they liked me, haha), had to get up at 5AM everyday and I have conquered my fear of driving long distances. I’ve been challenged and buried in work and I’ve also been enlightened and often amused at the medical content I’ve had the pleasure of researching. I’ll be writing an entirely different post on my internship experience but this is just a reminder to myself that everything is going to be ok, it always has been and it always will be. I’m currently completing my online professional diploma in social media marketing, so the possibilities are endless.

C.S. Lewis once said there are far better things ahead than any we leave behind and I am excited to keep looking forward.

To anyone dealing with unemployment, retrenchment and other forms of adversity, my Instagram DMs are always open if you need to talk. I’m sending you all my love and support, always.

But here’s to new adventures, may we walk into jobs we love and environments that make us want to get up in the morning x

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